It's easy to stay in touch with work after getting home because we're so connected. But in this state of hyperconnectivity, people are feeling more run down than ever before.
In fact, 40 percent of Americans report feeling burned out and as a result, are thinking of leaving their jobs to seek better work-life balance.
This is also the greatest challenge for remote workers, according to Buffer's 2019 State of Remote Work, who say unplugging is their top struggle, ahead of loneliness and communication.
Don't let work drive you to exhaustion anymore — or drive you to leave a company you love. Instead, use these tips to unplug and leave the office behind, even if your office is in your apartment.
The best way to avoid working when you leave the office is to turn off your email notifications. If you use Gmail, you can make this easier than configuring your settings every single day by using the app Quiet for Gmail.
With it, you can silence notifications during the “quiet hours" that you set. The best part is you can still get personal emails by setting quiet hours for specific addresses.
Pick up a good book instead of sending another email. A study found that reading for just six minutes each day reduced stress levels by 68 percent, as reported by the Huffington Post.
If you have trouble choosing books, check out GoodReads and the major best-seller lists. You can also follow people like Reese Witherspoon on Instagram to see their book club choices. Slowly, you'll create a reading list you can refer to every time you finish a new book.
Don't let your mind run wild with what needs to get done the next day. Instead, write it all down before you leave the office. Hannah Braime, author and founder of Becoming Who You Are, suggests writing everything down in a “core dump."
This phrase, coined by David Allen, productivity speaker and author of "Getting Things Done," refers to the process of getting everything out of your head and onto paper to free up space in your mind.
“This involves writing down every task, activity, and project you need to address. This could range from picking up milk on the way home, to a multi-person project at work. Writing down every 'to-do' item you can think of clears space in your head for more important topics."
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, time and time again. What's more, while you're meditating, you're encouraged to slow your thoughts, taking you away from work and into your own space.
The best part is, there are dozens of apps available to make it easier to do, even if you're a newbie. Find a guided meditation app or pull up meditation music on Spotify and simply relax into it.
If you're rock climbing, playing intramural hockey, crafting at home or making clay pots in a studio, you aren't able to check your email or do work. Find hobbies that keep you busy and away from your email to make it easier than ever to unplug, whether you want to or not.
The best way to avoid work after hours is to keep notifications at bay, and silencing your phone is a sure-fire way to do exactly that. It's also easy to do and allows you to keep your phone nearby for making plans with friends.
Instead of hearing a ding every 10 minutes with a new email, you can reach for your phone when you think of it or need it.
Instead of continuing to send emails while you ride the train home or sitting at a red light, listen to a podcast. Choose podcasts vs. music to keep yourself focused on something other than work — when listening to tunes, it's still easy to respond to an email or check up on a project.
This is especially helpful for employees working from home, who leave one room at the end of their workday but stay in the same space at night. Create no-work zones in your apartment — soothing areas where you're not allowed to do anything work-related, from answering calls from your boss to responding to texts from co-workers.
For example, perhaps your kitchen and bedroom are no-work zones, so while you cook and eat dinner or unwind for the evening and get ready for bed, you're not tempted to check-in.
Unplugging after work can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Use these simple tips and strategies to keep work emails at bay and keep yourself tuned into your personal life from the moment you leave the office until the moment you return.